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Deputy Police Chief Charlie Ramirez is trying to assuage hard feelings in the community. Photo by Jeff Prince.

An attorney representing the relatives of Daniel Brumley, who was shot four times by a Fort Worth police officer on Jan. 17, said the autopsy report raises more questions about what happened that night. Brumley’s relatives and a handful of Northside activists have been at odds with the police over a range of issues, including the length of time the investigation is taking, the dearth of information being shared by police, and the manner in which the arresting officer handled the situation (“Blood on Whose Hands?” Feb. 25, 2015). Two bullets, according to the autopsy, entered Brumley’s back. A third hit him in his side and traveled in a downward motion. And a shot to his head entered near the left temple and passed through the right jaw, indicating the shot was fired in a downward motion.

Police officials have said the officer was behind Brumley when the suspect attacked him with a knife. Police haven’t named the officer involved in the shooting, but an official said the officer is small in stature. Brumley, the 25-year-old father of seven children, stood well over 6 feet tall.

Almost three months have passed since the shooting in the Diamond Oaks neighborhood of North Fort Worth. Brumley’s relatives are waiting for police to explain what happened and to address witness statements that seem to contradict police statements. Two witnesses said they saw a police officer lead a man to the back of a police car just before the shots rang out. Afterward, the officer acted suspiciously, including pacing nervously until backup police arrived, at which time he dropped to the ground and writhed in pain, the witnesses said.

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Police and city officials are not releasing public information about the shooting, including the autopsy report, while the investigation is ongoing. However, a county official released the autopsy to Brumley’s mother, Jessica Castillo, who shared it with Fort Worth Weekly.

The Brumley family’s lawyer, Eloy Sepulveda, questioned why the police officer didn’t search Brumley or wait for a backup unit to arrive after learning there was a warrant for Brumley’s arrest.

Sepulveda visited Larry Moore, the Tarrant County district attorney’s criminal division chief, last week to express concerns about the report.

“I wanted to find out if the DA’s office had received the case of Brumley’s death and, if so, where they were in their investigation and evaluation of the case,” Sepulveda said.

Moore knew of other shootings involving police, such as the one in Grapevine in February, but said he hadn’t heard about the Brumley shooting, Sepulveda recalled.

“He assured me he would keep me abreast of it and how the investigation was going,” Sepulveda said.

Moore looked into the case, which is still under investigation.

“I’m not sure when we will get it,” Moore said. “It depends on how much info there is out there to gather.”

He and other administrators under new DA Sharen Wilson will be pushing to process cases in an efficient and expeditious manner, he said. Still, there is no official timeline.

“Every case is individual and fact-specific, and there may be issues on a particular case that I’m not aware of,” he said.

The Brumley shooting occurred at about 4 a.m. after he dropped off a friend at her house. He allegedly rolled through a stop sign a block away near Northeast 36th Street while heading back to his mother’s house in West Fort Worth. Police said a canine officer patrolling with a police dog in the backseat saw the traffic violation and stopped Brumley. The officer collected his driver’s license, saw he was wanted for warrants related to unpaid traffic tickets and child support, and removed Brumley from his car to take him into custody, police said.

“Brumley was armed with a knife and attacked the officer with violent and distinct lethal intent, stabbing the officer several times,” police Sgt. William Hix said. “The officer determined in a matter of seconds that his life was in jeopardy and responded to that threat with the only reasonable force option that was available. This force option to shoot [Brumley] was predicated on Brumley’s actions. The officer sustained stab wounds and was transported to a local hospital for treatment of those injuries.”

The officer was reportedly treated and released.

Sepulveda said the number of shots fired and the directions the bullets traveled are troublesome.

“We could speculate on how that happened,” he said. “I told [Moore] I’d like to know how the officer explained that.”

The attorney also questioned the officer’s tactics.

“I read [police] reports everyday,” Sepulveda said. “These officers, once they got a confirmed warrant, they call for backup and wait for backup to show up if they know they’re going to have to pull a guy out of the car. Another thing, as soon as they pull a guy out of the car they pat him down. According to the witnesses, that didn’t happen. This officer was incompetent or didn’t know what he was doing.”

Hix said the officer followed protocol.

Brumley’s relatives say he never carried a knife and had never been violent with police despite several arrests over the years. A witness said he saw the police officer’s gun lying in the street after the shooting but didn’t see a knife. Later, he saw a knife lying next to the gun.

The autopsy report shows Brumley had an abrasion on his left forehead, left upper cheek, and left lower back and contusions on his right knee and left leg, as well as deep cuts on his right fingers.

“Normally that would indicate a defensive move,” Sepulveda said of the cuts on Brumley’s fingers. “The person who winds up with a cut like that is grabbing a knife, and the blade portion of the knife is being thrust against him. It cut all four fingers in a horizontal direction.”

The autopsy showed Brumley tested positive for methamphetamine. The woman he had been with for six or seven hours prior to the shooting said Brumley had one alcoholic drink, did not do any drugs, and showed no signs of intoxication. Brumley texted the woman within minutes of dropping her off to tell her he’d been stopped by police.

Brumley parked under a streetlight near H.M. Moore Elementary School. Witnesses said the scene was well lit except toward the back of the patrol car.

“If he had patted him down when he got out of the car, he would have found any weapon he might have had,” Sepulveda said. “Both witnesses say [Brumley] got out of the car and was told to walk to the back, and the officer followed him. He walked him to his patrol car, and you wonder what he was going to do to him. You’d think he was going to put him in his patrol car, but he couldn’t do that … because he had a [police] dog in the back. They walked past the door.”

The crime scene indicated the shooting occurred near the back end of the police car.

Sepulveda, who has worked as an attorney on the North Side since 1978, said he’d heard many times in recent years that police are heavy-handed.

“I’ve heard a lot of stories in my office about people being abused by police,” he said. “This is not surprising to me. I tend to give it credibility when I hear it. When there is a case like this, nothing surprises me.”

Relatives of Northside shooting victims have met with community activists to discuss their concerns. Dep. Chief Charlie Ramirez attended a meeting and verbally clashed with several people who claimed the police department covered up for abusive officers (“Piling on Trouble,” March 4, 2015). The next day, police officers went to the home of Jesse Urias, a Northside man who lives alone, despite being partially mentally incapacitated, on North Houston Street. His friend and landlord, Willie Goodwin, lives nearby and helps Urias as needed.

Police officers, attempting to serve a warrant on a suspect, knocked on Urias’ door. Urias told them he lived alone and had never heard of the suspect. He said police called him a liar, cursed at him, broke his door, and entered his home without permission. Goodwin hustled over and calmed down the situation. Ramirez visited Urias and vowed to look into the situation. The Weekly has asked for the results of Ramirez’ investigation several times but has received no update.

19 COMMENTS

  1. The solution to this on going problem, and its very serious, is how do we safe guard a whole section of society is the question. The answer is (The Black Knights) put in each patrol care one black man with a video camera, and as this is phased in the black neighborhoods first, then all across the divisions of towns and cities, as the law of the land, a small black knight chess piece figure will be applied on all for four sides of police cruisers, measuring 3.5 inches tall if there is a (Black Knight) onboard. That way the black folks in their neighborhoods will know that a black dude is onboard with a camera who advocates for them, and this will hopefully bring more trust from the black folks towards the cops. And this will be a high paying job too, I’d say start out pay would need to be 42k a year. This job will have huge responsibility more like an ambassador for the common man in conflict with the law. We just have to face this problem head on and get busy doing something about it NOW!

  2. Body cameras and dash cams would solve most of these cases but police don’t want them. Police departments unionize, become strong politically and push for lawmakers to prevent laws requiring body and dash cams. How many police shootings have been forgotten or swept under the rug because they weren’t captured on cellphone videos? Why aren’t body cams required for every cop?

    • Since it’s usually criminals and their defenders who allege victimization by cops, why not require criminals to wear body cams? Just think of all the grief that would have been spared Ferguson, Missouri, if Michael Brown had been wearing one. Hands up? Don’t shoot? Really?

      As to the Black Knights concept, I think it would run afoul of the EEOC — Equal Employment Opportunity. I can see it now:

      WANTED. Fort Worth seeks citizen advocates to accompany police. Starting pay $42,000 yearly. Only black males need apply.

      • Yuk,yuk, yuk….quite the comic aren’t you Stouty. All this dirty cop needs to do is sit down and get wired up with the lie detector at the Cop shop downtown with an honest observer nearby and the big mystery is solved. The thing is, this cop is a stone liar and probably at least a couple dozen other cops are fully aware by now that he is and they are co-conspiriters. Every other Fort Worth cop would bet every dime they posess that he’s a killer if they could find a taker, they’re not fools. Just act like an average citizen, take the test, case closed. You are clearly smart enough to know that, you just don’t care.You’re a Tea-Bagging jerk and not a nice person. How much is your Unemployment Check paying anyway?

  3. Uh, Benny, the average citizen has never taken a lie detector test. Moreover, lie detector tests are not free, as are your weekly STD tests at the city health department. Usually, lie detectors are used by police departments. But given your distrust of the cops, would you accept lie detector results vindicating an accused cop where the test was administered by other cops? Keep taking your penicillin and go back to your cop-hating drawing board.

    • Just take the Lie Detector test, cut the crap, stand up straight, give up on the self-entitled lying bull-snit.Talk is cheap, facing reality, acting like a decent human, rather than a Tea-Bagging, self-entitled rat is something quite different. Is there no honor at all, at long last, with Fort Worth’s precious Police spit-wads. Protect? Serve? Whining and hiding and killing citizens are not on that menu. Enough is enough.. Ever cop in town knows the deal here, no big secret. I expect you’re not so stupid to not know yourself Stouty. Nothing new here. Uh, Stouty, did your Mama raise any lids with any ethics? Just take the test, Texas juries will give this cop probation and tell him go and sin no more.

      • Another thing Stouty……trust me, the boss Cops will not charge this black-hearted liar anything for the test….no need to worry. I know that’s a big deal with you Repugs.

    • Cops will not accept a lie detector test unless they do it Stouty. You’re a real piece of work. Try getting things right…just try….give it a try.

  4. Whoa…..let’s keep the focus here. There is a family who lost a loved one. They deserve answers promptly…. How is it other police shootings in other parts of the country can supply video, officer statements, and experts to this family? I understand the justice system moves slowly but this is a snail’s pace. We have a system of innocent until proven guilty so let’s respect it….whether guilt belongs with police or not….our system is not guilty until investigated. As a community we need the facts of this grave issue. And we need them in real time not a slow crawl to justice for citizens and police. Keep the insistence for information for this family civil ….stay focused, please.

    • You’re right, I’m wrong Ms. Labeau. I humbly ask that you forgive me. Let me just add the fact that, as you know, neither the killer nor his compadres nor his bosses nor any law enforcement organization nor any other City of Fort Worth spokesperson has said anything other than their implied message of ” tough luck Meskin kid”, ” “I hope this teaches you a lesson whose running thangs in Foat Wuff.” This is exactly, precisely, the words of a retired Fort Worth cop I have known since I was a kid said to me. I’m thinking the Pope would be irritated if it was his family….don’t you? Any decent person would be, seems to me. Does the owner of your enterprise disagree? Maybe he is part of the problem, you think?

    • I have a Negro friend, who is a 4th generation Mexican. He appears as, and I’m pretty sure is, stone-pure Negroid ancestory, black and shiney as a domino. A slave ship, manned by earlly day dements, which are commonly called Baggers now, crashed on the northwest Mexico coast. His name is Ignacio Washington Lopez Garcia. I have another Mexican friend in Rio Verde Mexico named Elaine Maria Garcia Jones. You need to find a better grade of booze Stouty. What do you eat anyway? You hanging out at the Weekly now?

    • It was a retired Fort Worth cop that called him a ‘Meskin’ kid Stouty, GET IT RIGHT. Nothing new there. You’re a real piece of work, take your meds.

    • If your retired cop has first-hand knowledge in this particular case, or of general FWPD hostility toward Mexicans and this is an issue in this particular case, then you should contact the family, their attorney Mr. Sepulveda, or FWPD. But if your mystery cop’s knowledge sheds no light in this particular case, then it’s pretty lame to cite him as a source at all.

      • The cop is free to say & do whatever in pluperfect hell he chooses to do I presume. You want to go tell him what he can do and not do and say or not say? I didn’t suggest and he didn’t say that he had first hand knowledge of anything and additionally he is certainly not my cop and if you want to tell him what to do and not do I’ll see if he wants to visit with you. He’s a bully and a self-entitiled government twit like many other Fort Worth people are slowly beginning to recognize concerning Fort Worth cops. You two are like ham and eggs, two peas in a pod . Neither of you give a flip for honor or decency, only whose pitching and whose catching. You got a job or still getting a government check? You might want to run off and get married to the guy that owns the Weekly, you know him pretty good don’t you? Eat pretty good on food stamps? Keep on the sunny side.

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